How to Heat an Ice Fishing Tent

Heating an ice fishing tent is a great way to keep warm on those cold winter days. Some of the most common ways to do so involve using a space heater, a camp stove, or an electric blanket.

Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to research each before settling on a final option.

In this article, we will take a look at the different methods of heating an ice fishing tent, as well as the pros and cons of each method.

Apply what you learn here and you’ll be ready to choose the best way to heat your ice fishing tent and keep you warm on those cold winter days.

Propane Camp Stoves

One popular way to heat an ice fishing tent is by using a propane heater. Propane heaters are relatively affordable and easy to use, and they generate plenty of heat to keep you warm in your ice fishing shelter. Additionally, they produce very little noise, which is a big help when you’re trying to stealthy out on the ice.

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However, propane heaters do produce carbon monoxide fumes and, if you’re not careful, you could be in for a nasty surprise. Therefore, it’s important to carefully read the instructions before using a propane camp stove in a fishing tent and to follow these tips:

  • Always use a carbon monoxide detector when using a propane heater.
  • Never use a propane heater in an enclosed space.
  • Make sure there is plenty of ventilation.

As long as you’re careful and use common sense, though, a propane camp stove is perfectly safe and one of the most effective ways to heat your fishing tent.

Electric Space Heats

Another option for heating an ice fishing shelter is with an electric space heater. Electric space heaters are also relatively affordable and, as with, propane-powered models, produce very little noise. This makes them an excellent choice for anyone within range of an electric outlet. However, they do have a few downsides.

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First and foremost, electric space heaters can be expensive to operate. Although the initial buy-in is relatively inexpensive, if you run them for extended periods of time, you’ll end up paying quite a premium for your electrical use. Therefore, you likely won’t be able to run an electric space heater the entire time you’re on the ice.

Electric space heaters are also more likely to cause a fire. If you’re not careful, they can easily overheat and start a blaze. Therefore, if you choose to use an electric space heater, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Make sure to keep it away from loose fabrics and other flammable objects, and never leave it running when you’re not in the tent.

Electric Blankets

Last but not least, electric blankets are another popular way to heat ice fishing tents. If you’re looking to heat your tent with an electric blanket, though, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind:

  • The material of your tent – Is your tent made from a flammable material? Is it safe to use an electric blanket inside? Electric blankets emit heat that can potentially start a fire, so make sure that the tent is made of a material that will not easily ignite.
  • The electric blanket’s rating – Is your electric blanket rated for use in tents? Most electric blankets are not designed for use in tents and may be prone to overheating if used in this setting. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before using an electric blanket in any setting to ensure its safety.
  • User’s instructions – Always read and follow the instructions before using an electric blanket inside of a fishing tent. Never leave an electric blanket running while you’re not in the tent and immediately turn it off if you sense that the area is overheating.

Although many anglers swear by electric blankets, we don’t recommend heating your tent this way. Electric blankets are prone to overheating and can quickly lead to a fire if not operated properly. Instead, stick with a safer option.

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Risks of Heating Your Ice Fishing Tent

Before you start heating your ice fishing tent, be aware that it comes with a few risks. Although these risks can be mitigated with some commonsense, it’s still a good idea to familiarize yourself and come up with safe practices while out on the ice:

  1. Fire – The biggest risk of heating your ice fishing tent is the risk of fire. Propane and electric heating elements can quickly overheat and ignite your tent, especially if the tent is made of flammable material.
  2. Carbon Monoxide – If your tent is enclosed without ventilation, using a propane heating element can put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. As propane burns, it gives off this toxic gas, leading to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms, get out and immediately call for help.
  3. Melting – Don’t forget that ice will melt at temperatures above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid melting your fishing spot by directing the heat up into the air and away from the ice.

Our best advice to avoid these issues is to stay vigilant and watch your heater carefully.


Heating your fishing tent will help make the experience more comfortable and enjoyable. There are many ways to heat a fishing tent, such as using a camp stove, portable electric heater, or an electric blanket. The best method depends on your individual needs but, whatever you choose, be sure to heat your tent carefully and never leave the element running while you’re away.

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